Thursday, January 10, 2013

Indonesia to host this year's APEC summit

For the second time after 1994, Indonesia will host this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.

And Indonesia is determined to promote a stronger and a resilient Asia Pacific region, as the locomotive for the world`s economic growth.

Indonesia`s President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has announced this year`s theme for the summit, "Resilient Asia Pacific, Engine of Global Growth."

According to Indonesia`s Foreign Affairs Ministry`s website, "In 2013, we hope to enhance the region's economic framework. This is an opportunity for Indonesia to exemplify its leadership in the region".

To achieve this objective, Indonesia has set three priorities: attaining the Bogor goals, achieving sustainable growth with equity, and promoting connectivity.

Indonesia will focus on infrastructure investment, SMEs, participation of women in the workforce, the role of farmers, emergency response, green technology, food security, financial inclusion, health and education.

Indonesia believes that these issues will improve the growth and resilience of the region.

Bogor goals

In 1994, Indonesia hosted the APEC Summit in Bogor, West Java, where APEC leaders adopted the Bogor goals, focusing on free and open trade and investment in the Asia Pacific region by 2010 for industrialized economies, and by 2020 for developing economies.

To meet the Bogor goals, APEC focused on three areas: Trade and Investment Liberalization, Business Facilitation, and Economic and Technical Cooperation.

This year, the focus will be on the expansion of trade and investments, and structural reform.

To achieve sustainable growth with equity, the focus will be on the global competitiveness of SMEs, financial inclusion, food security and health.

In his annual speech on January 4, 2013, Indonesia`s Foreign Affairs Minister, Marty Natalegawa, said that by hosting the APEC Summit, Indonesia will reap significant benefits.

"We are confident that APEC, under Indonesia's leadership, will add significant value to the national economic growth and the welfare of its citizens, without ignoring the needs of the international community," said Minister Marty.

This year, Indonesia will have the privilege of setting the agenda of the meeting. In the agenda, Indonesia will include the following topics: increasing the competitiveness of SMEs, food resilience, health, and sustainable marine development (blue economy).

"APEC`s policies are expected to directly or indirectly help improve the welfare of Indonesians as well," he said.

Established in 1989, APEC is a Pacific-rim economic cooperation forum that includes 21 member economies. They are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam.

According to Ambassador Yuri O. Thamrin, Director General for Asia Pacific and Africa Affairs, Indonesia's foreign ministry had organized two special events last year: the APEC Symposium on December 6, 2012, and the Informal Senior Officials Meeting (ISOM) of APEC in Jakarta, on December 7, 2012.

During the Informal Senior Officials Meeting, Minister Marty officially introduced the logo of APEC for 2013.

The logo depicts the dynamic process and progress of economic development in the Asia Pacific region. The logo shows bamboo blades, which symbolize resilience, strength and flexibility. When bamboo blades are hit by strong winds, they do not bend. In fact, they return to their original position.

Before Indonesia took over as the host of APEC, Russia was responsible for hosting APEC. The Russian government handed over the responsibility of the host of APEC to Indonesia, at the end of the APEC CEO Summit in Vladivostok, Russia, on September 8, 2012, which was attended by more than 700 CEOs of the largest companies in the Asia-Pacific region.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, as the next chairman of the APEC Summit, was present at the APEC Summit in Russia. He said Indonesia will invite major businessmen from Asia and the Pacific region to the APEC CEO Forum, which will be held in Bali in October 2013.

"Let us work together to make our region the engine of global growth. I look forward to meeting you in Bali in October 2013," said Yudhoyono, in Vladivostok in 2012.

With Bali preparing for the APEC Summit, a number of infrastructure development and renovation projects are being carried out.

"The expansion project of the Ngurah Rai International Airport and the construction of the Nusa Dua highway are being carried out in Bali," said Drajad H Suseno, spokesperson for PT Jasa Marga Bali Toll.-Interaksyon (January 10, 2013 6:22PM)

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